On l’attendait avec impatience, on a été comblé le week-end dernier. Le championnat a repris ses droits et l’équipe de Coup Franc consacre son émission hebdomadaire (à écouter ici) à cette première journée.
Pour mieux suivre nos conversations, voyez aussi :
- Les plus beaux buts de la semaine
- Les débuts en fanfare de Mike Magee, joueur de la semaine
- Le rôle de Patrice Bernier dans la victoire de Montréal à Seattle (faits saillants)
- Les nouvelles options offensives de Salt Lake, auteur de l’autre exploit du jour en gagnant à San José
- Les faits saillants de Vancouver - Toronto et les déclarations de Ryan Nelsen sur les malheurs du TFC
- Le résumé de Portland - New York
- L’effondrement défensif de Chicago
- Les erreurs des gardiens Ceus, Ricketts et MacMath
Par ailleurs, n’oubliez pas que la Ligue des champions recommence ce soir, avec Houston - Santos Laguna.
The Seattle Sounders will try to accomplish the improbable over the course of the next week, going up against what is arguably the best team in North America in the form of Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
However, their task may now get just a little bit easier. Reports out of Mexico Monday indicate that Tigres' leading scorer, prolific Argentine striker Emanuel Villa (above) will miss four to five weeks with an injury to his left calf, meaning he is guaranteed to miss both Tigres games vs. Seattle and would be a doubt for the semifinals (set for April 2-4 and 9-11), should Tigres advance.
Villa, a proven poacher who joined Tigres from Cruz Azul in the winter transfer window, is the Liga MX's top scorer in the Clausura 2013 tournament with eight goals in eight games (the injury kept him out of the ninth round of games this weekend). That total accounts for 42.1 percent of the 19 goals Tigres have scored in the tournament.
The Sounders will still have to find a way to shut down Argentine schemer Lucas Lobos, the string-puller for Tigres' attack, while Spanish veteran Luis García and promising youngster Alan Pulido can fill in ably for Villa, but the news should still be a boost to a still-coalescing Sounders backline.
For more CONCACAF Champions League information, be sure to check out our up-to-date CCL homepage, read our primer on the CCL quarterfinals and, of course catch Seattle's game at Tigres on Wednesday at 10 pm ET on Fox Soccer.
How close is Miami to joining the queue to get an MLS expansion franchise?
Maybe not as close as a recent report from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl seemed to indicate.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee took to Twitter on Monday to address the report, which said that MLS Commissioner Don Garber had engaged in talks with the NFL club about bringing a team to South Florida. Dee said that there had been no formal discussions between the two parties, but explained that the Dolphins would "keep an open mind" about MLS:
Comm. Garber's apparent interest in MIA is the latest testament to our growing reputation as the premier soccer market in N. America (1/3)
— Mike Dee (@MikeDeeFins) March 4, 2013
While we've not taken part in formal discussions re ownership of a MLS team, we'd certainly keep an open mind w/r/t any proposals that (2/3)
— Mike Dee (@MikeDeeFins) March 4, 2013
...could bring an MLS franchise to Miami. (3/3)
— Mike Dee (@MikeDeeFins) March 4, 2013
On Monday evening, MLS released a statement regarding the situation, saying that "no formal discussions" had taken place between the league and the Dolphins.
Round 1 of the 2013 MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager season is officially in the books. Some of your favorite soccer personalities are battling it out in the ExtraTime Experts League, so here’s the run down on how they started.
TheCrew.com's Ashleigh Ignelzi (Iggy FC) was the top scorer this week in her 99-70 victory over Soccer By Ives' Ives Galarcep (SBI United). She did it with goals from Robbie Keane (captain), Álvaro Saborío, Federico Higuaín and Graham Zusi. She also managed to rack up four clean sheets from three defenders and her keeper. Ashleigh’s 99 points currently ranks her 18th among all players in FS:M.
"My first week of MLS fantasy wasn't too bad. I expected a bit more from my midfield but I also didn't expect Seattle to lose at home or for Chicago to lose so poorly on the road. All my strikers had a great opening weekend so hopefully they keep it up and I don't make any rookie mistakes!"
ESPN's Taylor Twellman (ThinkTaylor) and MLSsoccer.com's Jason Saghini (Newborn FC) each put up a respectable 80 points and currently sit in a tie for third place after cruising to victory lane rather easily.
The closest match of the week was between Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl (Danny Szetela’s Afro) and FoxSoccer.com's Kyle McCarthy (Undisclosed Terms), with Wahl squeaking out a 58-56 win over the New England Revolution writer.
Former league champions TV announcer Jonathan Yardley (Fort Nonsense SC) and ESPN's Max Bretos (COLOTERORITA) both lost, as did MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas (Tesla’s Revenge) and Simon Borg (Borgussia Borgmund), although Borg did put up a respectable 71 points in his 75-71 loss to ESPN's Alexi Lalas (SlurpeeRatt). Lalas had some friendly words for his fellow competitor:
"For many, taking down the Borg would be cause for celebration. I, however, see it as no more than the natural course of events and completely expected. I didn't even use Saborio and I still won. Unlike most things in Simon's life, there can be no debate over this outcome — I owned him."
Big misses from Brad Davis (captain) and Will Bruin helped MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe (Meara’s French Licks) edge out a win over me, 67-63. Although, watching Diego Valeri score one of the nicest goals of the weekend early on against the New York Red Bulls did give me a little glimmer of hope.
For all the latest news and advice regarding MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager follow @MLSFantasy.
Key Matchups in Round 2
Upset Alert in Round 2
Employees from Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing took to cycling this weekend for Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling event that raises funds for rare cancer research. Employees participated in four cycling shifts which each lasted for one hour. Team MLS raised more than $40,000 and the event total was more than $13.5M.
In 5 days, 10 cities participated in 27 rides on 2,750 bikes engaging more than 13,000 participants.
One hundred percent of the funds raised from the event go directly to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and are allocated within six months of each event. The donations help fund the most promising research and clinical trials and have led to better treatments for cancer patients worldwide.
Since its inception in 2007, Cycle for Survival has raised over $31 million dollars for rare cancer research and funded 53 clinical trials and research studies. Cycle's direct funding has drastically reduced the time it takes for treatments to reach patients - in some cases cutting the span from years to months.
Si la logique a généralement été respectée lors de cette première journée de championnat, deux équipes ont cependant créé la sensation en déplacement : Montréal et Salt Lake, qui se sont imposés respectivement à Seattle et à San José.
Meilleure défense à domicile la saison dernière, Seattle y a été surpris par des Montréalais qui aiment la vitesse et ont affiché leur nouvelle maturité. À San José, trop isolé et mal approvisionné, Chris Wondolowski n’avait pas d’or dans les pieds, contrairement à Alvaro Saborio, auteur des deux buts de Salt Lake offerts par son nouveau compère, Joao Plata.
C’est plus la sévérité des chiffres qui a de quoi surprendre dans la raclée 4-0 infligée à Chicago par le LA Galaxy, où Mike Magee a réussi le premier triplé de sa carrière. Le match le plus spectaculaire fut sans nul doute le nul 3-3 entre Portland, où le duo Nagbe - Valeri a fait des étincelles, et New York, dont la préparation a été perturbée par les transports aériens.
Philadelphie - Kansas City
Vancouver - Toronto
Houston - DC United
Dallas - Colorado
Seattle - Montréal
Chivas USA - Columbus
LA Galaxy - Chicago
Portland - New York
San José - Salt Lake
Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo
Could Miami be back in the picture for a future Major League Soccer expansion franchise? It appears so, according to Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl, who says MLS Commissioner Don Garber is eyeing a team in South Florida once again after the Miami Fusion entered the league in 1996 and eventually folded in 2001.
MLS commish Don Garber pushing hard for Miami expansion team with Dolphins owner Steve Ross. Source close to Ross says he's interested.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 3, 2013
MLS commish Don Garber met with a member of Steve Ross's group on Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 3, 2013
MLS Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemanche responded to Wahl's tweet with this...
— Dan Courtemanche (@courtemancheMLS) March 3, 2013
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
As the sun came up on North America, the Twitterati took to their laptops, phones, tablets, soup cans, whatever they use to tweet, in order to express their thoughts about the 2013 MLS season opening up on Saturday. Here are some of my favorite ones.
— American Soccer Now (@ThisIsASN) March 2, 2013
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) March 2, 2013
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) March 2, 2013
Happy #MLS day, you guys
— Seth Vertelney (@svertgoalcom) March 2, 2013
— Free Beer Movement (@FreeBeerMovemnt) March 2, 2013
— Women United FC (@wunitedfc) March 2, 2013
And here's one of my own (shameless self-promotion!) with a priceless quote from a family member.
— Ghost of Gaetjens (@Gaetjens) March 2, 2013
Ronaldo? Messi? Benzema? Xavi? Iniesta? Which Real Madrid or Barcelona player would you want to see in MLS?
It's the morning of the opening day of the 2013 MLS season. I'm sitting at a funky cafe called Local 61 in Brooklyn (it's exactly what you imagine it would be), killing time before the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC kick off to get things going.
Until that first kick, much of the soccer world's mindshare will be occupied with the Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Despite my MLS myopia at times, my own focus this trained on the Bernabeu this morning. If you love soccer, you better be watching.
It all got me thinking: Who from the many stars on the two squads would I most like to see in MLS?
The obvious choice is Barcelona's Lionel Messi. After all, he's the reigning World Footballer of the Year, three times over, and the most creative, devastating weapon of his generation.
But many others would say Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who is like a growling NASCAR car compared to Messi's Formula 1 machine.
Still others would go for Xavi, the diminutive maestro who conducts the Barca midfield like Leonard Bernstein putting an orchestra through Copland's Appalachain Spring.
There's also Andres Iniesta, who quietly goes about the business of scoring and setting up goals for the Blaugrana, and with nary a peep; Kaka, the experienced, still-graceful artist who can turn a game for Madrid when given the opportunity; and Karim Benzema, who just gets better with each year up front at the Bernabeu. Not to mention Pedro and Mesut Ozil and... well, you get the drift: There are a lot of big stars on the field today.
For me, it's Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain. He's done nothing but score goals his entire career. His effectiveness is not tied to speed or overwhelming skill. He's just one of those guys, like Carlos Ruiz or Chris Wondolowski, who know how to be in the right place at the right time to stab home a goal. I'd definitely pay money every week to watch him play in MLS.
And no, I wouldn't want him playing alongside his brother in Columbus.
WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
The 2013 MLS season kicks off tomorrow and we are excited to see teams get back on the field. Off the field, clubs have continued to support various causes leading up to Opening Weekend. The Columbus Crew hosted the inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match, which raised nearly $30,000 for heart health research. MLS clubs showed their support on Twitter, donated funds and helped raise awareness for the match. Other club community highlights below:
For more community news from around the League, visit the MLS WORKS news section.